By Pat Cunningham
But first, a word from our sponsor. “Bad Boys” is out and available from Siren Press. What does it take to tempt a hot male demon? A hot male angel. This story guarantees my front-row seat in Hell. I’ve already blogged about it on another site. I was going to recycle that blog here, but decided on the flash instead to keep my blogs on topic. That said, we now return to our regularly scheduled shapeshifters.
Henri and I drag the moaning dead weight of the pusher over to join his despicable fellows. I could manage this task on my own, and tell him so, sharply. He laughs it off. “You’re so tiny, petit, and this ape is so heavy. No gentleman would leave you to shoulder the burden alone.”
Gentleman. Hah! No lynx is a gentleman. Such a state is beyond them. And tiny? At 5’5”, he has no business calling anyone “tiny.” But both his forms are still larger than mine, a fact he never fails to rub my whiskers in. There’s no point in arguing with him; his ego is larger than both of us. I content myself with a ripping growl.
We deliver our captive to Cal. He snaps on the cuffs and shoves Greasy Hair toward his two companions. “You have the right to remain silent. We have the right to chew on any one of your limbs that strikes our fancy. Welcome to Shiftertown.”
The humans don’t hear him. They’re watching Mike. He circles them, his eerie yellow eyes never leaving their faces. A snarl twitches his upper lip. Even in his human form there’s no mistaking the wolf. The wolf is one wrong eyelash-flutter away from lunging at their throats. The humans sense this and wisely hold to silence.
“You have the right to an attorney, yip yip yip. You scats know the drill. C’mon, let’s get ‘em to lockup. Yo, Carmen.” Cal grabs a poncho out of the back of his car and tosses it to me. It has a badge pinned to the front. He nods toward the street, and the rubberneckers crawling by in their cars. “Cover up before you cause an accident.”
Mike’s already wearing his poncho. Henri takes his time donning his. He makes sure I’m watching as he slides the garment over his head. In clothing he appears squat, but his lynx-shifter body is all solid, supple muscle and in perfect proportion when naked. He likes to show off this fact to me whenever opportunity presents itself. I pointedly turn my back on him and slip on my own garment. I hear him chuckle in appreciation of my backside. He would take leering delight in whatever side of me I showed him. Fool of a lynx.
While Cal and Henri load our collars into Mike’s unmarked van, Mike examines the take. He sniffs a baggie. His nose wrinkles and his lips skin back, as if recoiling from the drug’s very existence. “Feral,” he snarls. “Almost pure grade. Six full pounds of it. Lycaon bite those bastards.”
I say nothing, but I know my expression mirrors his. Sadly, it was only a matter of time before drug labs discovered the shifter market, and designed narcotics for weres. Feral wipes away human awareness, leaving only the beast. Its supporters claim it enhances the shapeshifter experience and promotes the purity of the animal state. Churches have sprung up devoted to this fallacy. For everyone else it’s a recreational drug. Just another thrill.
And when the thrill ends? You’re left with a shifter in human form but with an animal’s mind. Most often they kill themselves. Those who can’t go mad. Mike knows this from personal experience. So do I.